Journey to Decades Past at Hammond’s Antiques and Books on Cherokee Street

 In Culture, St Louis

It takes a special locale to satisfy a particularly gnawing desire for nostalgia, but we’ve found one such place on St. Louis’ revered Cherokee Street: Hammond’s Antiques and Books, one of the city’s most-prized independently owned bookstores.

Specializing in vintage and out-of-print volumes, this shop houses utterly unpredictable gems. One day you might find yourself delving into an old article featuring Frida Kahlo and her tumultuous relationship with fellow artist and husband Diego Rivera, while the next will have you poring over an anthology of art deco and modernist carpets. And then there’s everything to explore in between—the store boasts 80,000 books on site and a warehouse with thousands more.

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Photo credit: Hammond’s Books and Antiques

Owner Jovanka Hammond started the business over 30 years ago, seeking to create a community space where people could find priceless items and connect with one another. In addition to shelves upon shelves of books, you’ll find elegant antiques, vintage costume jewelry, reasonably priced posters and prints, original articles from publications printed in the 1960s and ’70s, all while listening to one of Jovanka’s hand-picked music selections, which tends to be a melodic old-school throwback.

It captures the original energy of what drew her to Cherokee Street in the first place—and while it was admittedly less polished than it is now, she was still drawn to the St. Louis street. “I loved it even 30 years ago when I started,” she says in a video for the Riverfront Times from nearly 10 years ago. “If there wasn’t a car on the street, you could be lost in time. It could be 1900.”

Hammond’s Antiques and Books
1939 Cherokee St.
St. Louis, MO 63118

Cover image courtesy of Jamie Taylor.

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